House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is calling on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to step down over the plea agreement he cut with hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein for sex abuse charges over a decade ago.
“@SecretaryAcosta must step down,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter Monday evening. “As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet.”
.@SecretaryAcosta must step down. As US Attorney, he engaged in an unconscionable agreement w/ Jeffrey Epstein kept secret from courageous, young victims preventing them from seeking justice. This was known by @POTUS when he appointed him to the cabinet. #AcostaResign
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 9, 2019
According to The Hill, citing a Capitol Hill source, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday will also call on Acosta to resign.
While a U.S. attorney in Miami, Acosta signed off on an agreement regarding Epstein that allowed the wealthy investor to serve 13 months in “custody with work release” after he pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution in 2008.
Epstein on Saturday was arrested in New Jersey on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on Monday alleged he exploited at least 40 underage women at his residences in New York City, Florida, and his private Caribbean island between 2002 and 2005.
“He has enormous wealth. The charges are very serious and carry with them a maximum sentence of 45 years, which to someone of Epstein’s age is basically a life sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of New York on Monday. “So we think he has every incentive to try and flee the jurisdiction.”
Some of Epstein’s alleged victims hailed his arrest.
“The news of my abuser’s arrest today is a step in the right direction to finally hold Epstein accountable for his crimes and restore my faith that power and money can’t triumph over justice,” Sarah Ransome, one of the investor’s accusers, said in a statement through her attorney.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors recently filed court papers concerning the Florida case arguing the agreement should not be altered. “The past cannot be undone; the government committed itself to the NPA, and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions,” they said.